Eastwood Buffing and
IMPORTANT SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS
Virtually any metal can be buffed to a mirror-like shine. Aluminum, brass, copper, pot metal, steel and stainless steel can all be buffed to a high shine using the high-quality buffing compounds, wheels, and other supplies available from Eastwood. The contents of the kit you purchased are on the packing list which came with it. Please check the contents of your package against the packing list to ensure that no items were overlooked.
If any of the items on your packing list were not included in your kit, please call
PRINCIPLES OF BUFFING
The Difference Between “Polishing” and “Buffing”
“Polishing” a piece of metal removes a moderate amount of metal from the piece, using coarse to medium abrasives in stages. The piece will have a “brushed” look and you will not be able to see any reflections in it. Polishing removes scratches and minor surface imperfections which are too deep for buffing compounds to remove efficiently. If you run your fingernail over a scratch and it gets caught, then the piece should be polished before buffing. The key to success in polishing is to remove just enough material to make the surface even and no more.
“Buffing” removes very small surface irregularities and makes the surface almost perfectly smooth by removing a very small amount of metal. Just like polishing, buffing is done in stages from coarse to fine. Buffing compound grits are so fine that you might not be able to tell the difference between compounds by rubbing some between your fingers. Their difference in performance, however, is significant.
What Are “Cutting” and “Coloring” Compounds?
PerPractice Makes Perfect!
Leveling and Polishing (Smoothing) The Metal Surface
Dent RemovaDent Removal
In most cases it is possible to restore a dented piece of stainless or aluminum trim to its original condition. We recommend using Eastwood’s Trim Hammer and Anvil Set (#13116) for dent removal. The Trim Hammer (#13146) is designed to access most areas. It may however, be necessary to custom grind a bolt head to access dented areas under a flange. Start at the outside of the dent and work your way around the outside of the dent and gradually inward in a circular pattern. This will shrink the metal back to its original shape. If you work from the inside of the dent outward, you will stretch the metal further and possibly ruin the piece. It is better to make several light passes and slowly work the piece back into shape than to try to remove the dent with a few heavy blows.
Filing Next use a fine file (such as an ignition point file) to “knock down” any high spots, but be careful not to remove too much material from the hammered area. Inspect your work to make sure it is as smooth as possible and, if necessary, use the trim hammer to bring up any low spots, then repeat the filing to remove any high spots. Finally, sand/polish the surface using one of the methods detailed in the next section.
Sanding/Polishing (hand, expander wheel, and greaseless compounds)
A. Expander Wheel
TECH TIP: Smoothing soft metal surfaces finer than 220 grit and hard metal surfaces finer than 600 grit may eliminate the use of Tripoli or Emery Compound and speed the buffing process. Always change the angle of attack by 90° (or as close as the shape of the part allows) as you work through successively finer grit abrasives and compounds to assure previous grit lines are removed. If deeper scratches or pits are noticed, it usually means that polishing and buffing steps were all done in the same direction thus disguising the deeper imperfections.
SMOOTHING THE SURFACE
Using High Performance Trizact Belts on Your Expander Wheel
TECH TIP: For slightly contoured surfaces, use the Finishing Belts (#13139) which combine the cleaning and metal conditioning power of Finishing Belts with the ease-of-use and speed of the Expander Wheel.
B. Greaseless Compounds
C. Abrasive Rolls
SMOOTHING THE SURFACE, CONT.
C. Abrasive Rolls, continued
Aluminum and other soft metal surfaces need to have a surface as smooth or smoother than what a 220 grit abrasive would yield. Stainless Steel and other hard metals should be brought to a 400-600 grit or finer finish before using the buffing wheels and compounds. Using buffing wheels and compounds on surfaces rougher than recommended will result in an uneven surface.
Choose the Right Wheel and Compound for the Job
NOTE: Condition of the workpiece dictates the steps necessary. Some peices may only require final finishing (Step 3).
Buffing Wheel and Motor Selection
Mounting the Buffing Wheel
Attach the buffering wheel to the buffering motor spindle, making sure that it is mounted securely between the flange washers. When mounted properly, the top of the wheel should spin toward you and down when the buffing motor is running. NOTE: Wheel stitching orientation is of no consequence to wheel performance or durability.
Applying Compound to the Buffing Wheel
With the buffing wheel attached and the motor running, gently touch the appropriate tube of compound to the face of the wheel for one to two seconds. Apply the compound slightly below the centerline of the wheel. (See illustration at right)
NOTE: It is normal for the compound to appear to be dried out. The compound consists of a graded abrasive in a hard wax binder. Theheat from contacting the spinning buffing wheel surface will melt the binder and the wheel will pick up the compound.
Buffing the Right Way:
Dressing The Buffing Wheel
Working the Piece
One of the keys to successful buffing is to let the wheel do the work. Use only light pressure against the wheel and always keep the piece moving. Before you begin, double check the surface of the piece to ensure that there are no deep scratches in the surface. If you can catch your fingernail in the scratch, you will have to file and sand it out before you begin buffing. Please refer to Preparing Pieces Before Polishing & Buffing (page 4).
First, mount a treated or untreated Sisal Wheel and load it with Emery Compound. Emery is fairly coarse and will remove fine scratches, leaving a uniform finish. NOTE: The treated Sisal Wheel will produce faster results.
With the buffing motor off, make practice runs with your piece to determine your pattern. Be aware of any corners, sharp edges, or bolt holes that the wheel may catch. Work on one small area at a time.
Begin in one area and work the part across the buff horizontally. Use light pressure and move down 1/4" after each pass until you have finished. Inspect your work frequently. When you have finished that section, move on to the next one, reapplying compound as necessary.
After you have buffed the entire piece, clean it thoroughly with PRE (#10041Z), Metal Wash (#10120), lacquer thinner, or dish washing detergent and let it cool before continuing. Make sure all traces of the compound you were just using are wiped from the piece before continuing. Otherwise you will contaminate the next wheel and compromise your results.
Now mount the treated, untreatedm or ventilated Spiral Swwn Wheel to the motor and apply the stainless Compound/ Again, buff the piece in the same manner as when you used the Emery Compound, working the piece at right angles to the previous grit scratches until all Emery Compound scratches are eliminated. You will notice that the Stainless Compound is not as aggressive as the Emery Compound, but that it will smooth out the buffing marks left by the more coarse Emery Compound.
Buffing in Restricted Spaces
Inspect Your Progress
Check your progress from time-to-time while buffing. Inspect the piece by looking at the reflection of a single light bulb in the surface. If the reflection is irregular as you move the piece, the surface is uneven and will not buff out. Try to keep your buffing as smooth and even as possible. Remember: let the wheel do the work.
If you notice medium scratches in the piece, but your fingernail does not catch on them, mark those areas and repeat the Sisal/Emery process. Do not attempt to buff them out with the Stainless Compound.
If you notice scratches which are deep enough for your fingernail to catch, then you will need to re-polish the piece (See page 4) and repeat the buffing process from the start.
When you have finished the entire piece, let it cool, clean it, and put the Spiral Wheel and Stainless Compound in a sealable plastic bag.
Final Buffing or “Coloring”
A Note About Heat Generated by Buffing
Buffing Aluminum and Other Soft Metals and Plastics
Special Protection for Polished Metals
For Superior Protection
Items for Tight Spot Buffing Eastwood has a wide selection of Mini Buffs, Felt Bobs, Mushroom Buffs, Facer Buffs, and Goblet Buffs ideal for tight spaces.